Broadband speed statistics: Internet speed in the UK and worldwide

In this guide

istock/Sergey KhakimullinHow fast is home broadband on average in the UK? Which is the fastest mobile broadband network? Which country tops the leaderboard for broadband speeds in the world?

You’ll find all those statistics and more right here. What follows is a collection of home and mobile broadband and internet related stats gathered from various sources. Alternatively, we've got a guide all about the fastest broadband in the UK, if you're after more general information.

In some cases you’ll see there’s overlap but the figures may not agree (there are numerous studies on UK home broadband speeds, for example) so take methodology and sample sizes into consideration. We have provided commentary and extra information to clarify where necessary.

If you have a related survey or study you think would fit here please get in touch.

Home broadband statistics

Average UK broadband download speed

Source 2017 2016 2015
Akamai 16.9Mbps 16.3Mbps 11.6Mbps
Ofcom 44Mbps 37Mbps 29Mbps

Why the big difference between Ofcom and Akamai figures? Akamai’s State of the Internet report is a wide-reaching study that slurps up a lot of data, and its average speed is taken from a large number of fixed line services. Ofcom focuses on home broadband and uses a relatively limited sample size of around 2,000 homes fitted with specially modified routers, and the vast majority of home broadband users are subscribed to one of the big ISPs (BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Plusnet and EE). Although Ofcom notes that it has rebalanced the report since 2016 to avoid fast broadband services dominating the statistics.

Average UK home broadband upload speed

2017 2016 2015
6Mbps 4.3Mbps 3.7Mbps

Source: Ofcom (published 2017 & 2016)

Average UK home broadband download speeds by region

England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland
45Mbps 42Mbps 35Mbps 39Mbps

Source: Ofcom (published December 2017)

Average UK home broadband download speeds: urban vs rural

Region Urban Rural
England 35.3Mbps 25.6Mbps
Scotland 34.8Mbps 13.2Mbps
Wales 29.1Mbps 14.1Mbps
Northern Ireland 36.9Mbps 20.3Mbps

Source: Ofcom (published April 2017)

Top 5 fastest home broadband providers by download speed

Provider Average download speed
Virgin Media 71.5Mbps
Vodafone 24.9Mbps
EE 23.5Mbps
BT 25.3Mbps
Plusnet 20.6Mbps
TalkTalk 17.2Mbps

Source: Broadband Genie home broadband survey.

These figures are from the results of more than 12,000 speed tests conducted throughout 2018-19. Only ISPs with a sufficient number of tests were included - several providers had quicker results but were excluded due to the small sample size.

UK fixed line broadband coverage

2Mbps+ 99.2%
10Mbps+ 97.2%
24Mbps+ 94%

Source: Openreach (2017)

This is the percentage of premises with access to broadband speeds above 2Mbps, 10Mbps and 24Mbps. It does not indicate how many homes or businesses have taken these services.

Top ten European fixed line broadband speeds by country

Country Average download speed Global speed rank position
Norway 23.5Mbps 2
Sweden 22.5Mbps 3
Switzerland 21.7Mbps 5
Finland 20.5Mbps 6
Denmark 17.4Mbps 9
Netherlands 17.4Mbps 12
Romania 17.0Mbps 13
Czech Republic 16.9Mbps 14
United Kingdom 16.9Mbps 15
Latvia 16.6Mbps 17
Overall European average 14.8Mbps n/a

Source: Akamai State of the Internet (Q1 2017)

Top ten fastest fixed line broadband speeds in the world by country

Country Average download speed
South Korea 28.6Mbps
Norway 23.5Mbps
Sweden 22.5Mbps
Hong Kong 21.9Mbps
Switzerland 21.7Mbps
Finland 20.5Mbps
Singapore 20.3Mbps
Japan 20.2Mbps
Denmark 20.1Mbps
United States 18.7Mbps
Global average 17.2Mbps

Source: Akamai State of the Internet (Q1 2017)

These figures exclude known mobile networks, but may still include mobile traffic when it is not possible to separate fixed line and wireless.

Top ten countries for adoption of broadband speeds above 25Mbps

Country % of connections 25Mbps+
South Korea 40%
Norway 34%
Sweden 30%
Hong Kong 28%
Switzerland 26%
Denmark 25%
Singapore 25%
Japan 25%
Finland 24%
United States 21%
Global average 12%

Source: Akamai State of the Internet (Q1 2017)

This shows the countries with the highest rates of adoption of broadband speeds of 25Mbps and above, but does not necessarily reflect availability as many people who could get broadband of 25Mbps+ may not be aware it’s available, or choose not to take advantage.

Mobile broadband statistics

UK 3G mobile broadband download speeds by network

Network Average 3G download speed
EE 7.78Mbps
O2 4.76Mbps
Three 6.95Mbps
Vodafone 5.24Mbps
Overall average UK 3G mobile broadband speed 6.18Mbps

Source: OpenSignal (April 2018)

UK 4G mobile broadband download speeds by network

Network Average 4G download speed
EE 29.02Mbps
O2 15.16Mbps
Three 22.55Mbps
Vodafone 20.07Mbps
Overall average UK 4G mobile broadband speed 21.7Mbps

Source: OpenSignal (April 2018)

Download speed of UK mobile broadband networks (3G & 4G)

Network Average download speed
EE 25.64Mbps
O2 13.17Mbps
Three 16.73Mbps
Vodafone 16.72Mbps
Overall average UK mobile broadband speed 18.1Mbps

Source: OpenSignal (Sep 2017)

UK 4G network availability

Network Average availability
EE 86.62%
O2 83.67%
Three 66.64%
Vodafone 79.45%
Overall average 4G network availability 79.1%

Source: OpenSignal (April 2018)

These figures from OpenSignal are the proportion of time an OpenSignal user has access to a 4G connection. It measures how often a network is available, but is not a measure of geographic or population coverage.

Top ten fastest mobile broadband download speeds in the world by country

Country Average mobile broadband download speed
United Kingdom 26.0Mbps
Germany 24.1Mbps
Switzerland 22.4Mbps
Finland 21.6Mbps
France 17.4Mbps
Norway 17.3Mbps
Denmark 16.6Mbps
Belgium 16.2Mbps
Romania 15.9Mbps
Australia 15.7Mbps

Source: Akamai State of the Internet (Q1 2017)

These figures exclude countries which don’t qualify under Akamai’s methodology. Qualifying countries must have had more than 25,000 unique identifiable IPv4 connections.

Top ten fastest 4G download speeds in the world by country

Country Average 4G download speed
Singapore 44.31Mbps
Netherlands 42.12Mbps
Norway 41.20Mbps
South Korea 40.44Mbps
Hungary 39.18Mbps
Belgium 36.13Mbps
Australia 36.08Mbps
New Zealand 33.52Mbps
Bulgaria 33.34Mbps
Denmark 33.09Mbps

Source: OpenSignal (Feb 2018)

Internet statistics

Average UK broadband data usage

  2017 2016 2015
Total UK fixed line data usage 4.17EB 2,750PB n/a
Average monthly data usage per UK residential connection 175GB 132GB 97GB

Source: Ofcom Connected Nations (Dec 2017)

Average size of a web page

  Sep 2017 Dec 2016 Dec 2015
Average bytes per page 3376KB 2479KB 2262KB

Source: HTTP Archive